Extreme Printmaking and Artist Books at SGC Chicago

Last week I went to the SGC Conference, hosted by Columbia College in Chicago. A very good conference! Over 1600 attendees, great demos and fabulous panels.

One panel that stuck out most for me was titled Printmaking with Extreme Technology. Woah. 3-d printers, laser cutters, computer programmed woodcuts, etchings on microchips…I especially was intrigued by Mike Lyon’s digital drawing machine. Traditionally, not a “print.” But consider the definition of a print. Using a press is not required. Using a matrix is not necessarily required. But here is a process that DOES use a matrix: the computer program and the machine itself as repeatable, being able to reproduce and edition a drawing countless times over. So… isn’t that a print? Kinda?

The exhibition Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books was another highlight for me. I am so attracted to artist books and always looking for inspiration. Some were simple, many incorporated unusual and interesting materals. The only downside was that we couldn’t touch the books. Many of them begged to be opened, but also many were rather fragile or more sculptural than page-turning.

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